By Smitha Vishwanath
Kabul is falling Kabul is falling, while the rest of us are watching with knitted brows and furrowed foreheads as many as hundreds of thousands lie dead and the Kabul River runs red with slaughtered dreams of the Afghans and trampled actions of the Americans. Rock by rock, the hilly country crumbles at the hands of the bearded rebels. Into a heap of stones collapse the long-fatigued walls and streets turn blue as district-by-district falls. Gunshots sound like warning bells-- Death knells for the men in pakol hats, who confounded stare unaware of what is to become of them amidst the bloody mayhem. Wide-eyed their rosy-cheeked children build castles in the dirt; and their women in chadarees -- can no longer mask their worries as the turbaned vultures -- circle the city, waiting, to tear open uncured sutures 'Kabul must fend for itself,' the men in uniform say, and turn their backs and walk away. Promises made by the top brass bite the dust on the rugged tarmac of hopes; ‘Ah! The Pashtuns are cursed.’ Onlookers say, ‘Those men-- tall, broad shouldered and strong, And women-- creamy white, chiselled; what did they do wrong?’ Their children’s faces in coveted places-- on magazine covers, win the best photograph of the year for their glassy-grey eyes that glare with fear which we call, ‘grit’ as on the couch we sit flipping the glossy pages, ignoring their pain and rage. Let’s not bother. Let’s all look hither and nod our heads and look on with furrowed foreheads and express regret for the misfortune Of those born in a land where mulberries and apricots are grown. Let’s thank our stars for our nation free of wars while the children of Hades turn the ‘graveyard of empires’ red -- A deep red like the juice of the ‘fruit of the dead’ planted around the sands on which the Shrine of Hazrat Ali stands and let’s watch it happen-- Kabul falling-- Falling, fallen. Pakol: Soft, round-topped hat made of wool Chadarees: A shawl
Smitha Vishwanath is a banker turned writer. A management professional, she embarked on the writing journey in 2016, with her blog, https://lifeateacher.wordpress.com.Her poems and articles have been published in various anthologies. In July 2018, she co-authored a book of poetry: Roads – A Journey with Verses.
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